Steve Smith is on the comeback trail.
Steve Smith is on the comeback trail.

Smith’s cricket comeback confirmed

STEVE Smith's comeback to cricket has begun, with the suspended former Australia captain being named as a marquee player in Canada's T20 league.

Smith will join fellow international stars, including Chris Gayle, Andre Russell and Shahid Afridi in the six-team tournament beginning on June 28.

The 28-year-old, who was suspended for 12 months in March for his role in the South African ball-tampering scandal, has been permitted to play domestic tournaments outside Australia by Cricket Australia.

The tournament will be held at Maple Leaf Cricket Club near Toronto from June 28-July 15 and feature six teams representing Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, Edmonton and Winnipeg along with a Caribbean side.

Teams are to be selected on May 30 via a player draw.

Dwayne Bravo, Lasith Malinga, Chris Lynn, Darren Sammy, David Miller and Sunil Narine were also named as marquee players.

President of Cricket Canada Ranjit Saini said the league was a huge step in the country's cricketing journey.

"Global T20 Canada marks the first time a nation with associate member status is launching a league - a major step forward in cricket's global development," Saini said.

"Canadian cricket fans will have a great opportunity to see up close many of the world's greatest players, and I'd like to thank International Cricket Council, Cricket West Indies (CWI) and the international cricket community for their guidance and support in growing cricket in Canada."

Whoever thought Steve Smith would be playing cricket in Canada.
Whoever thought Steve Smith would be playing cricket in Canada.

Like Smith, David Warner was also suspended for 12 months for his role in the ball tampering scandal while Cameron Bancroft was slapped with a nine-month ban. Warner's comeback will take place in Sydney grade cricket, with Randwick Petersham welcoming the opener next season.

Club president and ex-Test fast bowler Mike Whitney told the Southern Courier the batsman had committed to at least the first three of four matches for the club.

He will also be involved in pre-season training and helping with the club's youngsters.

"We're delighted to have him," Whitney said. "He's one of the best players Australia has had since World War Two.

"He's been speaking to one of our club officials and he has committed to the first three or four rounds of the season. Why it is only three or four rounds at this stage, I don't know. "Everyone is excited to have him. He will be great in the changing rooms with younger players."

Whitney had reached out to Warner last month after the 31-year-old became embroiled in controversy. Warner has been on the books at Randwick Petersham since 2013/14 after joining from the neighbouring Eastern Suburbs club.

But he's rarely been sighted for the club due to state, international and Indian Premier League commitments.

- with AFP

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